Adhere to COVID-19 protocols during festive season, urges Cabinet

Johannesburg – With the festive season fast approaching, Cabinet has expressed extreme concern about the spike in the number of new COVID-19 infections in the Eastern Cape and parts of the Western Cape.

Government attributes the rise in infections to, among other factors, non-adherence to COVID-19 prevention protocols and alert level 1 regulations.

Cabinet approved the proposed intervention measures for the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Metropolitan Municipality to address increasing COVID-19 infections during its virtual Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.

As part of the interventions, Cabinet also approved that the initiation schools may proceed within the strict health protocols outside of the NMB Metro.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is set to visit the Western Cape to assess possible intervention measures in areas such as the Garden Route.

Cabinet reiterated the importance of adhering to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as washing hands with water and soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask in public.

“All of us should support the call by the World Health Organisation to prevent new COVID-19 infections. As we approach the festive season, we should remember that the pandemic is still active and dangerous.

“Therefore, we must avoid unnecessary travel, particularly by public transport, and limit frequenting public venues such as restaurants, taverns or bars. Each of us needs to ensure we take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to our families, especially our elders,” read the Cabinet statement on Friday.

Cabinet implored South Africans to maintain social distancing even as they gather as families to celebrate the holidays.

“As South Africans take time to enjoy the holidays with their families and friends, Cabinet encourages all of us to do so responsibly. In addition to adhering to all health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must also abide by the rules of the road to ensure that we all reach our destinations safely,” read the statement.

Cabinet also approved the extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 January 2021.

With the festive season involving a lot of travel, Cabinet called on South Africans to practice road safety and adhere to the speed limit, not to drink and drive, drive recklessly and negligently.

“Parents and caregivers are urged not to leave children unsupervised during the holiday season. By working together to take care, we can ensure a safe and joyous festive season,” said Cabinet.

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